Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date

1977

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology and Rural Studies

Abstract

This exploratory case study examined the extent of community satisfaction in a South Dakota town, herein called Dakota Town. The purposes of this study were (1) to examine the attitudes of residents toward their community, (2) to examine the attitudes of residents toward their community’s subsystems, (3) to examine the factors associated with the residents’ overall satisfaction with their community, (4) to examine the factors associated with the residents’ satisfaction with the subsystems of their community, and (5) to examine the extent to which variations in the attitudes toward community subsystems explain variations in community satisfaction. Social systems theory and attitude theory were utilized to determine what life was like and how it was organized in this particular community. Emphasis was placed on the fact that this community was not declining in population as were other communities of like kind, and determination as to the reasons for this were examined in light of community satisfaction. It was hypothesized that satisfaction with this community was a function of the respondents length of residence, sex, age, income, organizational participation and educational level. Analysis of the chi-square tests of association showed that none of these independent variables were significantly related to the dependent variable of community satisfaction at the 0.05 level of significance. Also, an analysis to determine the extent to which the set of independent variables were significantly related to the dependent variable of community satisfaction at the 0.05 level of significance. Also, an analysis to determine the extent to which the set of independent variables explained the dependent variable to community satisfaction was utilized using stepwise multiple regression procedure. This analysis indicated that attitudes toward civic and social organizations and attitudes toward protective services in this community were significant variables at the 0.05 level in explaining overall community satisfaction. The regression coefficients for these two significant variables were negative since dependent variable ratings were coded with a low score for greatest satisfaction while the independent variable ratings had a high score for greatest satisfaction. The remaining independent variables did not contribute significantly to the explanation of community satisfaction. However, it must also be noted that these two significant variables explain less than 20 percent of the variability in community satisfaction. Therefore, there must be other variables, not examined in this analysis, which explain variations in community satisfaction. Conclusions from this study were: 1. Although the findings indicate that the majority of residents were satisfied with Dakota Town by indicating that is the a good or excellent place to live, it must be notes that almost 50 percent of the respondents had never lived in any other place. 2. Community satisfaction was influenced by the number of years the respondents had lived in Dakota Town. Those respondents who had lived in Dakota Town twenty-five years or longer tended to regard it as a good or excellent place to live. 3. Varying attitudes toward community satisfaction were also influenced by age and income. 4. Attitudes toward Dakota Town were also influenced by an individual’s activity in organizations. 5. Even though these findings indicate that, in general, the citizens of Dakota Town were satisfied with their community, they also had suggestions and ideas for improvement and ideas for improvement and were cognizant of its needs as a community. These ideas and suggestions for improvement are also cited in this study.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Communities

Satisfaction

Social systems

Sociology, Rural

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

155

Publisher

South Dakota State University

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